Above:Stefansky and her cat, Louise
Looking for someone to keep your kitties company while you travel this holiday season? Have trouble dropping your pooch off at the kennel? Or maybe you just don’t have enough time lately for the dog’s evening walk. Local student and small business owner, Eileen Stefansky, will take care of it for you.
“I’ve been pet sitting for six years, ever since I came to college at Michigan State,” explains Stefansky. “I grew up on a farm with all sorts of animals and was immediately homesick. So I thought, ‘you know what? I’ll pet sit,’ and it grew from there. Eventually I decided on prices: for twenty five dollars a day I’ll come over to their house for four forty-minute periods, whether it means taking a dog outside with a Frisbee or petting a cat.”
“It started with just a couple of my professors who eventually recommended me to a couple more people, and so on.” A flexible schedule allows Eileen to adjust her day to fit a clients’ needs. “I’m always home because my classes are online, whatever they need, I can fit into my schedule.” She’s finishing up her Masters degree and starting a Ph.D. next year.
Stefansky offers a personal touch. She sends clients a photo of their pet during every visit, along with a description of what they’re planning on doing together during that visit. After two years of vet school, and life-long experience on a farm, no animal is too much for her to handle. “I have two favorite clients: Susan who has a farm - I watch her horses. John, who has reptiles, and when he goes to his crazy comic-con conventions I take care of them.” Stefansky admits she’s partial to cats though, and actually has three of her own, along with a hedgehog. “It’s like playing hide and go seek when I go over there for the first few times,” She says.
Grocery shopping services are the “shop” in “Shop N Sit.” “Just like getting to know a pet-sitting client for the first time, I start off with a meeting to introduce myself and talk to them about what exactly they want. Then, they text or email a list, or use an app, and I provide a receipt.” For twenty dollars, folks can have groceries delivered right to their door.
Stefansky is available for any kind of pet care a client needs, including extended stays and packages that assure owners she will be there for whatever needs an animal has. “I once sat for a couple of foreign exchange students who went home during Christmas break; I took care of their dog, Anita, for three weeks over the break. I do extended stays, and if they require over a week I give clients a discounted rate.”
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